States yet to meet conditions won’t receive COVID-19 vaccines, says FG
‘Vaccinating Buhari, Osinbajo publicly will reduce apathy’
The Federal Government has declared that states yet to meet the conditions on training of medical personnel, security of national assets and cold chain stores, among others, will not receive vaccines for the treatment of COVID-19 in the country.
To address mistrust on the efficiency of the vaccines recently brought into the country for the treatment of the disease, President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo will on Saturday receive the COVID-19 vaccine publicly.
The country received its first batch of 3.92 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, stated this, yesterday, during the second edition of the State House weekly ministerial briefing at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Shuaib said President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo would receive the COVID-19 vaccine after some frontline health workers receive the jabs today.
He also said Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, would also receive his first dose of the vaccine tomorrow.
The 3.92 million doses of the vaccine are the first batch of the over 16 million doses allocated to Nigeria through the COVAX initiative, aimed at vaccinating about 20 per cent of Nigerians.
Recent studies, however, indicate in spite of public apathy against the COVID-19 vaccines, trust in them was growing, as surveys in several countries have found encouraging trends, but researchers warn that resistance of the vaccine could affect recovery from the pandemic.
The survey of thousands of people in 15 countries found that attitude towards COVID-19 vaccines seem to be improving in some parts of the world, even as researchers have welcomed the results, which suggested that an increasing number of people were willing to be immunised.
Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said: “It is understandable that people have concerns over the COVID-19 vaccine, given that this is a disease that has been with us for over one year.
“However, the NPHCDA has been working hard to address people’s concerns by providing verified information. The NCDC has also been supporting these efforts.
“The COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out in Nigeria have undergone stringent regulatory review process. Global institutions including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) nationally have done this.”
“In countries like Israel and United Kingdom (UK) where vaccination has begun, there is evidence that the number of new cases is decreasing. Nigeria’s polio elimination success can be largely attributed to the uptake of vaccines, a pointer to the fact that vaccines save lives.
“We will continue working hard with the leadership of NPHCDA to build vaccine confidence across the country. This is important for us to reach the minimal necessary coverage that we need to achieve herd immunity and control the acute phase of this pandemic.”
On his part, Chairman, Expert Review Committee on COVID-19, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, told The Guardian that there were growing concerns that some Nigerians might reject COVID-19 vaccines when they arrive.
“That is sad, but also true and it will not be new. We have rejected polio vaccines. Eventually, we embraced it and finally managed to get rid of polio. I expect initial rejection.
“A governor who erroneously, ignorantly and without proof, described COVID-19 vaccine as poison. The poison we should avoid is such statement concocted in ignorance and not the vaccine.”
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